Let me begin by saying if this meme were true it would be a damning condemnation of the Bible believing Christian churches, cherry picking which parts of the Bible to hold onto and which didn’t matter. But as you will see, that turns out to be one gigantic if. This meme sounds great and is at face value, a very powerful read, but this meme doesn’t know it’s scripture. In this meme, there are completely false statements, misleading statements, and a bout of Biblical gymnastics of epic proportions.
Before I show how laughable this pastor’s Bible knowledge truly is, let me again state, that Christians should love and show kindness to homosexuals. Christian’s unkind acts toward homosexuals is a deep dark sin. A Christian can show compassion without compromising God’s word. All men and women regardless of how much or how little sin or of any lifestyle choice has value in the eyes of God, and are loved by God.
The first line of this meme is true. Homosexuality is a sin according to several verses in the Bible. Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:10, if you wish to read a few. Again, I hope my previous articles that I have written show that I do care for and will minister to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) community, but there isn’t a Biblical case to be made that homosexuality is a lifestyle that God’s word supports.
The pastor’s second line of, “What else the Bible defines as sin? Divorce.” This line is at best misleading and at worse just false. If this pastor wanted to be technically correct, he should have said, “some” divorces are sinful. The Bible has given terms for a proper divorce. In the Old Testament, you can read these terms in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Now, Jesus addresses the abuse of Deuteronomy 24 in Matthew 5, and gives a righteous cause for divorce in verses 31-32. Many pastors believe Paul adds another righteous cause for divorce and remarriage in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16. There were in the Old Testament under the Covenant of Moses and now, in our day, under the New Covenant of Jesus, divorces that are valid.
Yes, some divorces are sinful, and I don’t know what church the pastor from this meme serves, but I haven’t met many pastors or church people that do not believe that. In fact I find myself reminding people more often, that there ARE some valid divorces. I have also lost count of how many times I have looked a divorced individual in the eye, feeling the guilt of their role in their divorce, saying, “There are valid divorces, but let’s pretend your divorce was the most sinful divorce in the history of mankind, God through Jesus can and will forgive you, so you can be lifted up and move forward.”
Pastor line three-five, “The bible teaches a divorced wife should be stoned, but we don’t do that because it’s inhumane.” Here the gymnastics begin. First, nowhere does the Bible say a divorced woman should be stoned, nor, does it say any divorced person should be stoned. Now, how does the pastor get this? He twists Matthew 5:31-32. In Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking to men because in Roman law and Jewish law, only a man could seek a divorce. Jesus, wanting a stronger commitment to marriage and family, commands men to only seek divorce under the extreme circumstance of unfaithfulness. The line, “causes her (the divorced wife) to commit adultery” is where this pastor equates divorce with adultery.
Then, he jumps back into the Theocratic Law of Ancient Israel that did allow for the stoning of adulterers, and this pastor says a divorced wife should be stoned today. There is a problem. First, the Theocratic Law of Ancient Israel held no legal authority in Roman controlled Palestine during Jesus’ day. I discuss Theocratic Law of Ancient Israel some in Part One of this series, but just to be clear, the punishments found in Theocrotic Law in Ancient Israel were never to be carried out by individuals. They were governmental punishments during the Covenant of Moses, which has been built upon and transformed by the New Covenant established by Jesus, so for this pastor to infer that he could have Biblically chosen to stone a divorced woman is ridiculous.
Also, this pastor completely misses the point of, “causes her to commit adultery.” Jesus again is speaking to men. He realizes the sinful men may not care if they sin, but Jesus is hoping by invoking the spiritual life of the wives, that the men will reconsider convenience divorce because the husband’s sin will effect more than himself.
Roman Palestine was quite a chauvinistic society. A single woman had a difficult time providing for herself. Marriage was the easiest and one of the very few ways for a woman to provide for herself. Jesus realized this. He wanted to inform the men taking advantage of the ease of divorce law in Roman Palestine, these divorced wives were driven to quickly remarry because there were few other options available. This is why the early Christian church were committed to support widows because without a husband many, if not most, couldn’t support themselves. Then, the divorced wives of these sinful divorces could sin by remarrying.
He wants the men to feel sympathy and compassion and make choices to lift up and build up their wives. The wives are mentioned in Matthew 5 as an encouragement to keep the husbands from sinning and having their sin impact their wives negatively. This was a call for husbands to take care of their wives, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This was not at all Jesus calling for a divorced woman to be stoned, and to infer it, is pastoral irresponsibility of the highest order.
Pastor line six, “the Bible doesn’t say anything about the consequences of a homosexual lifestyle.” This is just patently false. The Bible gives plenty of examples of the consequences of sin in general. Psalms 1, Matthew 7:13-23, Romans 6, are but a few examples. Then, there are specific consequences for homosexuality mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The pastor is just wrong in this statement.
Pastor line 7, “the Bible says love thy neighbor. That’s it.” The Bible does say love your neighbor, and Jesus greatly expanded who is our neighbor in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). I have preached to my congregation on many occasions that we are commanded to love, show compassion, and friendship to homosexuals. Love and agreeing with a choice is not the same thing. Many people love me that disagree with my variety of Christianity. Finally, along with love thy neighbor, the Bible says a lot of other stuff too, so to say that’s it is a bit nearsighted.
When you see just how much Bible this pastor got so clearly wrong, this pastor’s conclusion holds no Biblical water. Supporting homosexuality has no Biblical support. The only way to argue for Christians to support homosexuality is to decide the Bible itself is outdated and wrong. Showing kindness and compassion to homosexuals, that is commanded, but agreeing that, that lifestyle is approved by the Bible is not.
But I do not want to end with condemnation because I believe that would disappoint my savior. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul condemns homosexuality among many other sins, but then, Paul moves to verse 11 which says, “And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
There is no confessed sin that God will not forgive. If you are living with sin, guilt, or shame, you can be washed clean and made holy in the name of Jesus Christ. I am not a Christian because I am perfect. I still have sin in my life. I struggle with impatience and anger and many that I am far too ashamed to share online. Again, I am not a Christian because I am perfect. I am a Christian because I want to be.
Why am I a Bible believing Christian?…because I truly believe God’s word has made me and is making me a better man, husband, father, pastor, and friend. I believe it will have similar results for you to. A relationship with God through Jesus following God’s word, leads to powerful life and self transformation.
If you have a specific question or Biblical attack, you would like me to address send them my way. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up next, does “Judge not lest you be judged” mean we cannot condemn anyone or anything?